How long should a dog walk last? How long should you walk a dog? How long does a dog have to walk? All these questions are asked by many people. These doubts are frequent in the puppy stage as well as when the animal is an adult.
Most people are not sure if they are meeting the needs of their best friend.
The truth is that there is no right answer or absolute truth regarding how long and how many times to walk a dog. But it is interesting to make some reflections about the points that are important to take into account.
How often should a dog be walked?
We recommend a minimum of twice. Although if you have more time you can take your dog out up to four times spread throughout the day.
But since there is no exact answer to the question of how many times a day to walk a dog, we prefer to change the approach.
We recommend that you think and analyze for a moment what your pet is like.
Is he very active? Quiet and independent? Or tremendously playful?
Even if it's a dog that loves to play, think about it some more. Does he love to interact with you, other dogs or both?
Once you calmly analyze your dog's personality and characteristics you will be able to see more clearly what to do during walks.
How long should I walk my dog?
This depends on the number of outings.
In the case that you do two, it is recommended that you walk your dog for at least half an hour or three quarters of an hour. Although if you do four or five it is understandable that some outings are just for your dog to relieve itself.
Let's talk about things to do during walks.
The physical activity has to be adapted to your companion taking into account factors such as age, morphology (shortlegged, brachycephalic, etc.), state of health, environmental temperature, etc.
As you can see, several factors influence when deciding how many outings you have to do and their duration.
When we say that exercise is fundamental, we do not mean that it is the only and most important thing in the life of a dog. After all, just like humans, for a dog to be happy he has to feel satisfied in different areas of his life.
If he is a very active dog by nature, like the German Shepherd, Jack Russell Terrier or Border Collie breeds among others, you will have to give him a greater amount of exercise. But don't get obsessed either, there is no need to overdo it.
Let your best friend have that basic need covered. That is enough.
And if your dog has behavioral problems, such as aggressiveness, do not tire him to try to solve it. Look for dog training classes at home to work on it.
Walking my dog before or after meals
We must be careful with taking our dog for a walk after eating. Especially with those who are more active!
Because if they do a lot of physical activity it can lead to gastric torsion, which can have fatal consequences.
So in the case of walking our dog after eating we recommend that the walk should be calm.
The physical activity needed by brachycephalic breeds such as the French Bulldog or the Pug is less, but even so we must be careful.
On the other hand, keep in mind that if you have a very active breed and you are not able to cover the exercise it needs, you have chosen a dog that does not fit your lifestyle.
You have to be very cautious when choosing a breed.
It is convenient to be sure that we can meet their needs so that the coexistence is pleasant for both of you.
This physical part can be satisfied by playing with us by means of the ball, teether, etc. But also through interaction with other dogs.
How to walk two dogs together
Many dogs when walking with other dogs play with them and it is difficult to handle them without them pulling on the leash.
We consider that it is better to structure the walk in such a way that your dog understands that there are moments to play with other dogs, and other moments to walk.
If we structure it this way we will have less problems when walking our dog. And even if he goes with a friend, he will understand that this time is not for playing.
A good idea is to release him at some point during the walk to run with his friend.
In this way we will make him see that there are moments for everything, but that when we put the leash back on again the walk is resumed and the game is over.
If you have problems in how to walk several dogs at the same time because there is no way to control them... Then the most advisable thing is that you walk them individually and teach them each one separately.
Only then it is convenient to start to put them together and walk them at the same time.
How to do a group dog walk
The more dogs in the group the easier it is for the situation to get out of control. That is why it is very important to have taught your dog the structure mentioned above.
It is also essential that no dog in the group has aggression problems. Otherwise it will greatly affect the stability of the rest of the dogs.
As we commented when walking with another dog, it is important that all the dogs in the group are released.
A good option is to let them loose in an environment where they can smell. This way they have an activity that at the same time is logical and helps them to relax.
But keep in mind that when we talk about doing fun things we are not just talking about taking them to the park to play with other dogs.
We mean doing activities together. For example, go for a run, go for a walk in the mountains, play ball, play with the teething ring, ride a bike, etc.
All this serves to strengthen the bond and the affective relationship with your best friend. But not only that, it also helps to enrich your life and make it much more fulfilling and satisfying.
In addition, if a dog has logical activities in his life he will be much less prone to behavioral problems. The fact that most of the events he experiences are pleasant will improve his mood.
As we all know, more positive experiences make life much more satisfying. This is true for people, but it is also true for dogs.
How to walk an anxious dog
We have spoken at length about physical exercise, but not about mental stimulation.
This is also essential to be present during walks to make your dog feel good. One way to do this is to go to areas where there are interesting smells, and not always to the same park.
If you don't have the possibility to go to different places relatively often, you can make use of sniffing games.
The richer the place is in smells, the more interesting it will be for your dog!
Sniffing games are another way to stimulate your companion's mind without having to go far away. Searching for food on the ground is something dogs love to do and it also enhances their sense of smell.
Do i walk my dog enough?
From our point of view there are two ways to evaluate if the walk has been adequate. This can be verified both in the short term and in the long term.
In the first case we refer to when we return home immediately after the walk.
One way to evaluate this is to see what the dog does in those moments. If he lies down to rest and remains calm until the next exit to the street is a good sign.
If this is not the case, several points should be reviewed.
The walk may have been sufficient, but because he has been encouraged to be nervous at home, he automatically becomes active when he arrives. Then he runs down the hallway and over the sofas.
But with the exception of this case, it would be necessary to evaluate if it is due to other causes. For example, giving him little activity, using inadequate walking material (too short or flexi leash), if he is afraid of some stimulus in the street, bad handling of the leash, etc.
It is very probable that by observing these points you will find the answer to find a solution.
There is another way to evaluate if the walks are enough, but unlike the previous one, this one is long term.
It could happen that the walks are very short or of poor quality but still your canine companion is calm at home. Therefore the problems do not appear immediately but after some time.
The fact that it does not show problematic behaviors in the short term does not mean that the needs of the animal are being covered.
Another way to evaluate it is to check over time if your dog is doing well. That is to say, observing that it does not develop any behavioral problem and experiences emotional well-being.
If this is not the case, he may start to react disproportionately to certain stimuli in the street, be more nervous at home, pull more on the leash during walks, etc.
As we have seen, it is essential to observe the reaction both after the walk and in the long term. This is the only way to ensure that our dog is satisfied on his walks.
During the walk, quality is much more important than quantity.
Therefore, do not be obsessed with the number of walks and their duration. It should not be the most important factor when evaluating if a walk is satisfactory for your dog.
Nor is there a prescription for all dogs. It will depend on the breed, physical condition and even the ambient temperature.
Precautions when walking dogs in summer
It is important to remember to avoid the hottest hours and to be especially careful in summer with brachycephalic breeds.
They are very prone to heatstroke and we can have an upset.
Besides avoiding the hottest hours of the day, it is essential to always carry water and check how our best friend is doing.
More important than the quantity and duration is what you do on each walk.
That is to say, the outings to the street should serve to cover the needs of your pet and to strengthen the bond. Taking him to a dog park to tire him out and not to strengthen the relationship seems to us to be a mistake.
There is no need for him to exercise a lot in every outing. Otherwise, what can happen is that he destroys things at home the day that he does not have the activity to which he is accustomed.
It is important to give him physical activity but in the right measure.
But it is also convenient that there are walks that are calmer. In this way, he will know how to manage less exercise and still be calm at home.
Structure of the walk
It is necessary to take care of several factors so that the walk is pleasant for your best friend. Going outside should not only consist of walking for a long time without stopping.
You should not only consider how many times a dog should be taken out to relieve himself. As we have seen the walk should include more points.
For example doing fun activities together, socializing with other dogs, releasing him to sniff freely for a few minutes, mental stimulation of some kind, etc.
It is necessary to keep in mind that the sense of smell has a lot to do with mental stimulation. The fact of changing environments is something that is pleasant for any dog, so he can get to know different smells.
But other stimuli are also included, such as auditory and visual stimuli, and even textures (grass, sand, etc.). That is why it is important not to always take your dog to the same park.
This is the only way you will both have more fun when you go outside. The walk has to be satisfying for both of you.
Many people take their pet out for a short time because he pulls too much on the leash and it is very uncomfortable. And there are people who choose not to take him out. So teach your dog to walk properly as soon as possible with the help of a dog trainer.
Remember, your dog's walk should encompass a number of things and not just physical exercise and relieve himself. So,
What are you waiting for to make his walks more satisfying?